Peasant leader Martha Orsell Adeis

Even in her identification, Martha Orsell Adeis is a sui generis woman, and to the music of that name is added the laughter that her face often gives off. While facing the good and the bad in life, she smiles. But beware. With the same cadence, she controls and demands.

She is a simple woman; so humble that she keeps silent even though she has so much to tell. She usually tries to go unnoticed but it is impossible because her presence shakes and infects the passive. She is a leader in the community of Dumañuecos, in the municipality of Manatí; and for the credit and services cooperative Gonzalo Falcón is the soul, the heart, the oxygen.

"For the last 14 years, I have been president of the cooperative, and less than a month ago I was ratified as head of the unit. The commitment to them is enormous, and also to the people, who expect an extra effort from the peasantry of Las Tunas."

"We are 115 cooperative members and our radius of action exceeds 1,155 hectares. Most members are dedicated to sowing various crops; however, we diversify our production and have both large and small livestock."

She always speaks in the plural because she does not differentiate between the individual and the collective. At all times, she is another member of the "Gonzalo Falcón;" when the work changes, she grabs a shirt, boots, scarf, and hat and imposes her enthusiasm on the farms, the roads, the offices, or the areas of collective use.

"I see it as something normal. I am a peasant and I have my own history of hard work with my family. Since I was young, I have had to work and I studied for meetings until I got my university degree in Agricultural Engineering in 2018."

Peasant leader Martha Orsell Adeis"One day I told myself that I had to overcome my childhood and youth and be independent. That is why I started studying. Then, as time went by, I began to receive training on gender issues and I became passionate about defending women."

"I am grateful for all the good things that have happened in my life and for my husband's support to be able to go to various workshops and events. If it wasn't for him, my parents, and my commitment, I might not be able to answer these questions right now."

Modesto Verdecia Vega is a tractor operator at the cooperative. He has also been sharing Marthica's hours of rest for 29 years. In the intimacy of their home, they divide the chores, the joys, and the worries. Together they break many stereotypes and are happy.

"I am proud of my life, privately and socially. I know it is impossible to turn back time. But if I had to choose, I would choose again what I have lived through. Thanks to how I am, I have many friends, and people who healthily love me."

"Wherever I go, in Dumañuecos, Manatí, Las Tunas, and other provinces, I meet people who respect and respect me too. That satisfies me, as does belonging to the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP in Spanish), an organization that I honor with my daily actions."

This May, the month of celebrations of the cooperative and peasant sector, Martha Orsell Adeis reaffirms the commitment she made many years ago, because as she says: "Fear? Neither of the animals in the bush nor of the dark. Not of work, least of all."